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Ashley Singh (16), a bright, beautiful, happy young woman, died because she stayed
overnight with her boyfriend and his family on Mother's Day, 2006.
Ashley Singh's Cousin
"She was a good kid. She was innocent."
Sarah Carmo (former classmate)
"She (Ashley) was very happy. She worked a lot.
She was a hard worker."
2005 - Ashley's boyfriend, Bolingo Etibako, has a friend, Nathan Richard Fry.
The two young men are jointly charged in a stabbing incident.
Both are later acquitted.
Nathan Richard Fry is angry at his now former friend, believing that
Bolingo fingered him to police about 2 stabbings near SkyTrain
stations they had been charged with, and then acquitted of.
Chantel Musende (a close friend of Adela)
"Ornella was mindful but Bolingo would go his own way.
"To raise the kids in Canada is not easy. It's not like in Africa
when I grew up."
Sunendra Makiwita (Neighbor & friend of Adela)
"Bolingo clashed with his mom because their home had become a
drop-in for his friends. His mother used to chase them out. Things
came to a head at a New Year's Eve party at the Etibako home 17
months ago when police were called to a stabbing that occurred
when party crashers arrived."
2006 - May 14 - Sunday - MOTHER'S DAY
"I met my girlfriend (Ashley) after work and she stayed overnight.
We went to bed after 11 p.m. because I had to work the next day."
Ashley Singh Bolingo Etibako
2006 - May 15 - Monday Morning
3:30 A.M. - Sunendra Makawita, a neighbour living in an apartment across
from the Etibako family is awakened by the sound of running
footsteps. She hears two male voices outside her window,
moving away from the Etibako residence, a unit at Skeena
Terrace, on the ground floor, at 2484 Cassiar St., part of a
sprawling 234-unit social housing complex.
"One said, "Get down, get down. The other said, "Okay, Okay."
They sounded like teenagers or young adults."
EXPLOSION & FIRE
The sound of an explosion rends the night air.
"I saw fire, then heard an explosion."
Witness/Neighbor (She is not allowed to be identified under a court order)
"I awoke to screams from children crying and shrieking for help.
I immediately ran in my underwear and saw 9-year-old Benedicta Etibako
and her 8-year-old brother, Stephane, in third-floor windows screaming for help.
They were struggling and their faces were white and they were gasping for air.
I urged the children to jump from the windows, but they were unable to do so.
I saw neighbors watching from nearby buildings who refused to respond
to my cries for help."
SURVIVOR OF THE BLAZE
"I normally slept in a bedroom upstairs in our family's townhouse
but -- on the night of the fire -- I was sleeping on a couch on the main floor.
Ashley (Singh) was beside me.
My girlfriend Ashley (Singh) had earlier awoken to say she thought she
heard something, but I told her it was probably from the restaurant
across the street.
Next time I woke up, I was awoken by a loud explosion. It was hot, extremely
hot. There was scorching heat. The place was on fire. I was on fire and I tried
to find an escape. The fire was raging in every room.
As soon as I felt the heat of the fire, I ran to the back door but the heat
was so strong I burned my hands and arms. Ashley (Singh) fell down as
we tried to get out of the house, but I couldn't help her because my arms
and hands were so badly burned."
"I heard screams from one of the rooms where my younger siblings slept but
I couldn't reach anyone. I jumped out of the second-storey kitchen window and
landed on the grassy front lawn, naked, bleeding and frantic to get help."
"I saw up to 10 people watching the fire. I asked people what are you doing?
I was naked and they looked in shock to see how I was and they had a weird
reaction towards me. I ran to a nearby restaurant and a woman poured water
on me, the owner called the fire department. By the time I raced back the
police and ambulance were there."
"I was telling authorities who was still in the house when there was a
big explosion. The house blew up - boom! I lost consciousness at that
point and woke up later in hospital."
:49 A.M. - Police respond to an emergency call and begin kicking
doors open to get everyone out.
Constable Tim Fanning (Vancouver Police Dept.)
"A very frantic scene."
4:30 A.M. - Police cordon off an area around the complex, closing
off several streets.
5:00 A.M. - T. J. Etibako arrives home.
A SHOCKING DISCOVERY
"I'd gone to the Keg restaurant with my girlfriend earlier in the evening, went to
Prospect Point and had a few beers with a friend, then socialized at a friend's
house until after 5 a.m., when I took a taxi home."
"I couldn't get near myhome because the street was blocked off by police.
As I approached home, I noticed it had been consumed by a fire. There were
no windows, nothing. Everything was black, black, black.
Then I saw the bodies on the lawn in front of our family's apartment."
The bodies were those of his mother, two sisters and brother, and Ashley Singh.
Top: Adela Etibako and son Stephane Etibako (8)
Bottom: Edita Etibako (13) and Benedicta Etibako (9)
8:30 A.M. - The adjacent Elementary school is closed.
Capt. Rob Jones-Cook (Fire Dept. Spokesman)
"The blaze is being treated as suspicious because of how fast it spread
through the townhouse. Investigators believe gasoline was used as an
accelerant. Police dogs were brought in to help officers investigate what
is deemed a "major crime scene."
"Witnesses reported hearing an explosion as the fire tore through the
townhouse, in the 2400 block of Cassiar Street, just before 4 a.m.
Te fire appeared to have started at the back of the unit in the social
The fire did "very extensive damage" to the three-storey townhouse,
with firefighters climbing onto the roof at one point to battle the flames.
Social services workers have been called in to help relocate people in
Classes were also cancelled for 400 students at an elementary school a
block away from the fatal fire."
"The family didn't want to shock Bolingo with news of the tragedy.
"We waited awhile before we told him.
"He was upset. He couldn't believe it."
scheme, the purpose of which, was for the officers to bond with Joanne
Fry and connect with Nathan Fry. They would represent themselves as
part of a criminal organization, with the aim that Fry would make statements
they could use as evidence in the arson murders case. The sting operates for
6 months, durinig which time, Nathan Fry confesses to setting the arson blaze
which killed Ashley Singh and members of the Etibako family.
2008 - B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ian Pitfield presiding.
Nathan Richard Fry is charged with 5 counts of First-Degree Murder
in the deaths of Ashley Singh, Adela, Benedicta, Stephane and Edita
Etibako. 1 count of Attempted Murder of Bolingo Etibako.
The Crown's theory is that Fry and another, unknown person set the
fire using gasoline as an accelerant to "pay back" Bolingo Etibako
for "fingering him to police."
Ornela (T.J.) Etibako
T.J. testifies to his mother's happiness on Mother's day.
He relates his movements that night and of arriving home the next morning
to police, fire trucks, and fainting as he viewed the bodies of his family and
Ashley Singh laid out upon the front lawn.
Bolingo testifies to waking up with their home on fire, how he and Ashley
Singh tried to get out. "Ashley fell down as we tried to get out of the house,
but I couldn't help her because my arms and hands were so badly burned."
"I've had multiple surgeries and psychiatric sessions to help me cope."
Ashley Singh's mother covers her face and cries as she hears his testimony.
The undercover officer in charge of the sting operation, as well as
other officers involved, testify as to the sting, and to Nathan Fry's
confession. Nathan Fry confessed to the arson, saying it was
revenge for Bolingo "fingering him to police."
Neighbors, Fire Dept. Officers, and Paramedics.
Nathan Richard Fry
Fry testifies, stating he was stealing marijuana at the time of the
deadly fire. As for his "confession," he was lying to undercover police
posing as gangsters.
The jury takes less than 48 hours to find Nathan Richard Fry (now 20) Guilty
of 5 counts of 1st Degree Murder, and 1 count of Attempted Murder.
Nathan Richard Fry is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility
of parole for 25 years.